Friday, February 15, 2013 at 7:47 AM
South Africans woke up this morning to the truly shocking news that world famous Paralympian Oscar Pistorius (26) had been charged with murder.
The double-leg amputee is claiming that:
… he accidentally shot dead his model girlfriend at his luxury South Africa home when he mistook her for an intruder.
(Mail & Guardian, February 14, 2013)
Except that a number of local papers are reporting that neighbors heard Pistorius and FHM model Reeva Steenkamp (30) engaged in a “violent” lover’s spat before hearing “shots” fired around 4am. This would clearly rebut his surprise-intruder defense. More incriminating still is that:
Pretoria police spokeswoman Denise Beukes confirmed … they had been called to his home on several occasions since 2011 to deal with ‘allegations of domestic violence.’
(Daily Mail, February 14, 2013)
It is this alleged history of domestic violence that leads me to believe he murdered his girlfriend in the same kind of chauvinistic/jealous rage in which O.J. Simpson murdered his ex-wife. And it would not surprise if ex-girlfriends come out of the woodwork now to testify about his abusive behavior, each implying that, but for the grace of God, she could have been the victim of this Valentine’s Day murder.
What’s more, my own suspicions about Pistorious’s manic personality led me to ridicule him after this blade runner’s surprising loss in the 200m at last summer’s Paralympic Games; incidentally, when everyone else was hailing him like a mythological satyr:
What business did he have participating in the Olympics if he was not even good enough to win in the Paralympics? I even took perverse interest in the way Pistorius made a mockery of his highly touted sportsmanship by crying sour grapes about the length of the other runner’s blades after his loss….
(“In Defense of NBC’s Olympics and Paralympics Coverage,” The iPINIONS Journal, September 14, 2012)
Prosecutors are vowing to have him remanded without bail pending trial. But, consistent with my allusion to O.J., I fear his fame and irrepressible charisma will mislead jurors (or, in this case, the presiding judge) to nullify all incriminating evidence and acquit him too. For what it’s worth, I’ve read enough to believe that, like O.J., he is as guilty as sin.
In the meantime, just as Hertz did with O.J., sponsors are wasting no time dropping Pistorius as the face of their company.
More important, though, it is probably no exaggeration to say that Oscar Pistorius being charged with murder is more heartbreaking to people with disabilities than Lance Armstrong being charged with doping was to people with cancer. Pistorius is/was that big a hero and inspiration to millions around the world….
NOTE: Just days ago Reeva published a tweet exhorting her fellow South Africans to wear a black band on Friday in solidarity with the fight to prevent rape and other violence against women. How ironic, then, that her own boyfriend is now the poster boy – not only for perpetrating such violence (against her), but for the endemic gun violence that makes South Africa, on a per capita basis, even more violent than the United States.
In defense of NBC’s Olympics and Paralympics…
* This commentary was originally published yesterday, Thursday, at 9:14 am